Women and Tradition
Women & Tradition
Throughout the history of religion, women always carried some kind of role in the tradition of that religion, whether restrictive or liberal. In many of the religions practiced today, women had somewhat of a restricted role, since many religions are seen still today as patriarchal. In monotheistic tradition, whether it be Judaism, Christianity, or Islamic, women were looked at as heroines in some cases, leaders in some scriptures, and intellectuals. However, women were also under restrictive rules, seen as inferior to men in these traditions, even when they are to be seen as equal to men. Before Jewish tradition though, when polytheistic religions were more significant, women were treated more equally, given rights to land, and also there were women that were worshipped as Goddesses in Hinduism and what we call mythology today, Ancient Greek, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Mesopotamia where the code of Hammurabi was produced.
In Jewish tradition, women were celebrated, glorified. According to Ellwood, women in Hebrew Scriptures, or the Old Testament, were seen as, “charismatic luminaries, heroines, intellectuals, devoted wives and daughters-in-law, and leaders.” Though there were many prominent figures in the Jewish tradition, such as Sarah, who was Abraham’s wife and gave birth to Isaac, and Moses’ mother and sister who saved Moses from the Hebrew male executions in Egypt, women still had many restrictions pressed upon them. Mainly, the role of the woman in Judaism was to be the wife and mother in the household while men created the rules and for them to follow. Fertility was the most important attribute of a woman to have, especially to bring sons to the family (Ellwood, 264). In the Book of Genesis, Abraham’s wife was blessed by the Lord to have a son when she has never bore a child before and when her and Abraham were too old in age to have children (Genesis 21), and also when Abraham